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POL 2108 A - Modern Political Thought I - Guy Côté - 09 Feb. 04.docx

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Political Science
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Mark Salter

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POL 2108 A- Modern Political Thought I - Guy Côté - 09 Feb. 04 Baruch Spinoza (1632 - 1677) - later known as Benedict de Spinoza - ahead of his time in many fields - one of the first thinkers that emphasized democracy as the best regime - promotes tolerance (including religious tolerance, relatively new idea at the time) - died young at 45 y/o - born in Spain - he published Ethics - The Jewish moved to Portugal, then moved to Holland (due to the Spanish Inquisition) - he grew up in Holland - He was highly influenced by the tolerance of his community - also highly influenced by the unconventional thinkers, including the Collegiants - excommunicated by the Jewish and Christian Community, them saying he was an atheist - promoted controversial ideas no accepted by both communities - Does not believe in God and the afterlife, but doesn’t mind anyone else believing in God as long as it’s based on rational reasons - makes a clear distinction between God and Religion - Praying for rain for crops → rational - Thanking God for scoring a touchdown → irrational - However, still says to be cautious since religion is based on superstitions, and those aren’t rational - Has a problem with the, “God did it” as an explanation for everything - saw religion as a personal matter, thought that it shouldn’t be an organized matter - By promoting religion as a personal matter, he was attacking the hierarchy of the Church - Thus denies the Jewish special status that they were the chosen ones - Says the Bible was written by Humans - Likely made up the bible, or maybe perhaps were witnesses to the similar events - He denies divine creation of everything - Denies the idea that humans have free will - H
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